Proverbs 25:8 – Don’t jump to conclusions – there may be a perfectly good explanation for what you saw.
Wow! I read this verse this morning, and boy did it jump out at me. Last week, I was teaching about certain building materials we should use to build our lives with, one of which was love. A part of building a life of love is to live an active life of forgiveness. It is amazing how much easier life becomes when we make up our minds to forgive. I truly believe the act of forgiveness is often more powerful and impacting for the forgiver than the one receiving the forgiveness. Sadly, for many, forgiveness is super tough. And, like many things, once you start living with unforgiveness, it can have a compounding effect on who you are and grow to become. Failure to forgive opens the door to strife, jealousy, contention, and bitterness. All of these lead to a hard life – a life lived with a hard heart! This, in turn, means a life lacking joy, a life lacking peace, a life lacking relationships, a life lacking synergy. In fact, the power of unforgiveness is so strong that the Bible warns us repeatedly of the dangers of strife, contention, jealousy, and bitterness. (Galatians 5:19-21, Proverbs 6:16-19, Proverbs 17:4, Ephesians 4:31, Hebrews 12:15, James 3:14-16)
How do you learn to forgive and do it easily? One of the most effective tools I have learned which makes living a life of love easy is to judge people based on their intention and not solely on their action. We have all done things that hurt others without meaning to. It can be a very frustrating and painful experience when someone gets upset with us for a misinterpreted action. In a nutshell, you will be so much happier in your relationships and in your day-to-day life when you learn to look at a person’s motive or intention towards you before you become upset or angry at their action. Allow others, especially those close to you, the courtesy of a chance to offer an explanation. You will often find that the thought of upsetting you or hurting you never crossed their mind, and you will find peace and understanding in their explanation. Give others the benefit of the doubt, the same way you would want them to do for you. Don’t make assumptions! Your assumptions may rob you of something or someone very valuable unnecessarily.
Love like Christ loves you! Forgive as Christ forgave you!